Basic Roast Chicken

Whole roast chicken screams comfort food to us. There is something about coming home to the smell of a chicken in the oven—it’s almost Thanksgiving-like but without all the effort of the huge Thanksgiving meal. A whole roast chicken is great for many reasons—not just because it’s delicious. For starters, it makes use of the whole chicken—and since most of your local farmers aren’t selling you boneless, skinless chicken breasts, this is a great way to use all the parts. Second, the carcass can—and should!—be used to make chicken stock (see the recipe on page). The secret best part of this recipe? The roasted radishes. You’ll find yourself wishing you had roasted more!

SERVES 4 TO 6 / PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES / TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 10 MINUTES

1 onion, cut into wedges

4 to 5 whole carrots, peeled (greens removed if they came with them)

½ pound asparagus, tough ends removed

1 cup radishes, halved lengthwise

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 4-to-5-pound whole chicken

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Place the vegetables and garlic on a large rimmed baking sheet or in a large roasting pan and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Leave a few onion pieces in the center, and push all the remaining vegetables to the perimeter of the pan.

3. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. Place the chicken breast side up in the center of the pan. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken and tie the legs together (optional but helps with even cooking). Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

4. Season the chicken and vegetables with the salt and pepper.

5. Place the pan in the oven and reduce the temperature to 400°F. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (being careful not to hit the bone) registers 165°F, about 1 hour.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

VARIATIONS: There are so many ways you can switch up the seasonings and/or the vegetables for this dish. Try rubbing some garlic-rosemary paste all over and under the chicken skin, and select potatoes as your vegetable. Or sprinkle 1 tablespoon paprika (sweet or smoked) over the chicken and roast with sweet potatoes and parsnips. Or season the chicken simply with salt and pepper, roast with your favorite vegetables, and drizzle with just a tiny bit of truffle oil after it’s done cooking. That might be our favorite way!